Charnwood homes strategy to go to government

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Protesters have failed to stop councillors agreeing plans for 9,500 houses across part of Leicestershire.

Charnwood Borough Council backed the core strategy, saying a housing shortage had to be addressed.

Councillors insisted it would also mean they could control bids from private developers more effectively.

But campaign groups from the Shepshed, Loughborough, Thurmaston and Birstall areas said important land would be lost and local services overwhelmed.

Close inspection

About 90 members of the pubic attended the meeting at Loughborough Town Hall, including representatives of three protest groups; Barkby and Barkby Thorpe Parish Action Group, the Garendon Park & Countryside Protection Group (GPCPG) in Loughborough and Thurmaston says No groups.

Housing plans

  • 3,000 homes to the west of Loughborough
  • 4,500 homes the north of Hamilton/east of Thurmaston
  • About 1,500 homes on land to the north of the A46 at Birstall
  • 500 homes adjoining Shepshed

Linda Needham, who chairs GPCPG, said: "It is a ludicrous decision that they are making, to destroy one of the most important heritage sites in Leicestershire.

"They are putting a road through one part and building on the other and it cannot go ahead."

The strategy will now be reviewed by government inspectors who could suggest amendments before sending it back to the council for final approval next year.

Charnwood Borough Council leader David Slater, said it was very difficult to know how many changes might be made.

"No plan that I know of has ever been accepted at face value from an inspector," he said.

"Inspectors have their guidance from government and they use that guidance to further the government's plans in parliament.

"So, I fully expect our plans will require some amendment somewhere depending on what is important to that particular inspector on the day he does our inspection."

Both Northwest Leicestershire and Melton Borough Council are currently reviewing their core strategies after changes were demanded by inspectors.

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